Allow me to introduce you to Jane.
Jane is a college graduate who currently has a job (in her degree field), but she’s also been actively applying for new roles for the past few months.
Jane has spent hours sifting through job boards, tailoring her resume and cover letter, and taking required pre-screen assessments.
Most of the time, Jane doesn’t hear back about her applications, yet recently, she was contacted for a video interview.
Again, Jane spent hours of her job search journey researching the company and preparing interview questions. On the day of the interview, Jane logged into the required video conference call five minutes early. Yet, her interviewer did not login to the call until 30 minutes after their scheduled time.
She repeatedly mispronounced Jane’s name, although Jane explained the proper pronunciation after the interviewer’s first mishap.
The interviewer was extremely unprepared, scrambling through a stack of papers trying to locate Jane’s resume and read it over to get a better idea of who she was interviewing for the position.
She skipped the Q&A portion for Jane to ask her prepared questions and told Jane she’d be in touch within a week. One week passed, then two. And after a couple unanswered follow-up emails and one phone call, Jane threw in the towel. But she wasn’t too happy about this at all.
The real Jane is my close friend, and unfortunately, there are millions of other job seekers like her who also have true tales of similar experiences. And data from mysteryapplicant.com supports this.
- 34 percent of job applicants rated their current candidate experience as “poor”
- 54 percent of applicants did not receive regular updates on their application
- 52 percent of job seekers felt that they were not treated as an individual
- Just 11 percent of companies asked for candidate feedback
These numbers not only hurt the candidate’s experience; they hurt businesses as well. The same data revealed that 83 percent of candidates share their experiences with their friends and family while 64 percent share them on social media. Negative candidate experiences can damage future relationships with job seekers and those they share their experiences with as not even half (37%) of job applicants would recommend a company they had a negative experience with. Another 38 percent are less likely to buy from or use a company’s products/services again.
With recruitment deadlines, masses of applications and small teams of recruiters, I’m certain it’s fairly easy to deviate from a candidate-focused process.
So how can companies get back on track? Here’s three solutions:
Problem #1-Lack of respect from recruiter to candidate
This was an issue my friend Jane encountered; the interviewer disregarded Jane’s time by showing up a half hour late, repeatedly pronounced her name incorrectly and hadn’t even taken the time beforehand to look over Jane’s resume.
Solution #1-Showing R-E-S-P-E-C-T goes a long way
Here’s four easy ways to be respectful toward candidates:
- Simplify the process when you’re able; don’t overcomplicate unnecessary things
- Stop making the process a one-way street and ask for candidates’ feedback and thoughts
- Be friendly
- Don’t forget the “Human Factor” and to be authentic, showing genuine passion and concern for the candidate and his/her needs
Problem #2-Candidate is left in the dark with no recruiter follow-up
This is a constant issue with the recruitment process that I’m sure most candidates have experienced. 40 percent of candidates experience an “unacceptable time lapse” between initial conversation regarding a position and a follow-up conversation. Another 60 percent don’t receive any regular updates on their status for the position.
Solution #2-Keep candidates in the loop
Employers must make it a priority to keep candidates in the loop during the entire recruitment process. This includes everything from the initial conversation to the steps the recruiter is taking with the hiring manager to the final offer.
Problem #3-Treating candidates like they’re all the same
Depending on the amount of applications received and the number of recruiters working to fill a role, the importance of personalizing the recruitment process can sometimes fall through the cracks. Yet, employers don’t want the same “average” type of workers in their companies, i.e. no innovation, creativity or diversity, so why treat job applicants like they’re average and not unique?
Solution #3-Make them feel important
Companies want an individual to bring his/her unique talents and skill sets to their businesses. So, during the hiring process, demonstrate to candidates that your business recognizes their individuality and that they aren’t just a number or another faceless resume.
Do not downplay the importance of career for every individual, explaining that respect, courtesy, genuine interest pave the way for successful recruiter-candidate relationships.